April 19, 2017 at 8:11 pm #145919
So after months of attempts of self-improvement and self-help, I've discovered a whole bunch of things about me that I failed to realized for most of my life.
I'm a 20-year-old student currently in my sophomore year of college and my whole life I was complacent with how I thought, acted and practically lived life. I lived in a fixed mindset. But after going within myself and developing self-awareness after my latest relationship fall out, I've discovered that I've been dealing with anxiety, perfectionism, negative thoughts, an inner critic and much more closely similar issues. But today I realized after I had a reaction to something that my friend said, that most of my issues stem from a serious EGO issue.
I have an ego issue, and it is why I get so defensive when engaged in serious conversations with people (When I'm aware people are joking I don't get defensive because I'm consciously aware it's not an attack of my ego). I perceive disagreements and rejection as a personal threat towards me. When people don't enthusiastically agree with me I feel like they are taking shots towards me to hurt me. Which in turn causes me to get defensive inside and judge them for being an ass hole. But when in reality it's all being driven by my ego.
For some additional input on my situation, I fear failure and rejection mainly in part because I feel that when things are perfect, it's not acceptable which stems from my childhood. Failure and rejection would also damage my ego, which is another reason why I take disagreement as a threat.
I'm really looking for some advice on how to dissolve myself from this ego and live a more spiritual and healthy life. Any suggestions?April 19, 2017 at 8:35 pm #145925
Can you define what you mean by “ego” ?
anitaApril 19, 2017 at 9:08 pm #145933
My ego is practically my state of mind and how I perceive myself (and my self worth), which affects how I perceive those around me and my interactions with them. From when I was younger whenever I would participate in sports, or get a report card back in school my father was always highly critical of me and always pointed out parts where I could have done better. My efforts and achievements never seemed as if they were enough, and I never was able to be happy with what I accomplished because my father always focused on what I didn't do right.
So from a young age, whatever I did I always tried to do it as perfect as I could and would avoid making mistakes in order to avoid being scolded. After these past few months of self-awareness and digging inside myself, and reflecting on my childhood, I've realized that every aspect of my life has been controlled by fears. Fear of failing, fear of making a mistake, fear of rejection, fear of displeasing others and fear of conflict.
Within myself I have developed a very harsh inner critic, which focuses solely on the negative things, and points out things that I should've done better. Leaving me feeling down and making me feel like I'm never enough. The times in my life when I would generate happiness would be when my ego was satisfied. The best way for me to explain this is;
I'm always full of negative and self-doubting thoughts which derive from my inner critic, I judge myself which in turn is why I judge others, and vise Versa. I judge others and pride myself on being the most perfect person I could be. That was the only way I would learn to be happy. My actions were ultra conservative (for example I'd never pursue trying to talk to new girls or make ‘moves' because I feared the idea of being rejected by a girl, or knowing that she wasn't interested because it would hurt the idea inside of my that I was perfect and needed to be perfect in order to be accepted.) Another example is, I would never put my self in a situation where I knew there was equal chance of me failing, I fear embarrassment and failure because It would shatter the identity I have of myself which is, that I was too good to mess up or that people would think worse of me if they knew I failed or was rejected.
In the same sense, if people engage in a disagreement with me I perceive them as trying to take shots at me or establish their authority over me. I think this way because my ego is centered around being perfect, being better than others, being better looking, smarter etc.) Due to this I have serious jealousy issues when I date because I constantly compare myself to others and then the inner critic kicks in and I doubt myself.
Basically, whenever my mind perceives someone or something as a threat to my ego(self identity), I subconsciously become defensive, and take their comments as personal attacks towards me, because my sense of self-identity is based upon always being right and perfect.
I definitely feel as if I answered parts of my own question above, but if you have any additional insight on how to become more aware of when the subconcious is at work or any other advice/guidance, that'd be great.April 19, 2017 at 9:32 pm #145937
You sure know a lot of stuff! I would add this:
Your “inner critic” is the mental representative of your father who was very critical of you, pointing out your imperfections. Your inner critic continues your father's work.
Your core belief is that you are not good enough unless you are perfect. This core belief should be examined in psychotherapy and changed.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with a competent, empathetic therapist may be best for you. Perfectionism, and other distorted thinking can be examined and challenged as well as your core beliefs.